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Microtectonic and geochemical characterization of thrusting in a foreland basin: Example of the South-Pyrenean orogenic wedge (Spain)

Abstract : In orogenic systems, thrust faults play a major role in stacking different tectonic units and may act as conduits for the expulsion of large amounts of fluid of different origins (metamorphic, diagenetic, meteoric). This study focuses on the Monte Perdido thrust unit emplaced in the Paleogene Jaca thrust-sheet-top basin, in the SW-central Pyrenees. We aim to decipher the mechanisms and P-T conditions of deformation in fault zones and characterize the related fluid involvement, through combined microstructural, geochemical and microthermometry analyses. Two thrust faults cutting platform limestones, marls and siliciclastic turbidites of the lower part of the basin-fill (Paleocene-lower Eocene) have been studied. The fault zones are characterized by metre-thick shear zones with highly deformed, foliated clay-rich sediments. Foliation is underlined by preferentially oriented phyllosilicates. Several generations of shear and extension calcite, quartz and chlorite-bearing veins attest to fluid-rock interactions during a multi-stage deformation. Microstructural observations and stable isotope analyses on calcite from veins and host sediments suggest that deformation was aseismic and dominated by diffusive mass transfer from pressure solution sites along cleavage and stylolites to the precipitation sites in veins, with mineralizing fluids in equilibrium with the host sediments. Our results suggest an essentially closed hydrologic system, and imply the absence of significant fluid flow along the studied fault zones. Microthermometric study on fluid inclusions present in calcite and quartz veins, and calcite-quartz oxygen isotopic fractionation determined for the first generation shear veins, allow a geothermal gradient of 34 degrees C/km to be estimated. Analytical results demonstrate an evolution of the fault zones in three stages. The first stage was related to the emplacement of the Monte Perdido thrust unit during the middle Eocene at a temperature of similar to 208 degrees C and a burial depth of similar to 5.7 km. The second stage corresponds to a fault reactivation at a temperature of similar to 240 degrees C and a burial depth of similar to 6.5 km. The latter deformation may have been related to folding of the Monte Perdido thrust unit during the emplacement of the underlying Gavarnie thrust unit during the late Eocene-early Oligocene, with deeper burial resulting from aggradation of the thrust-sheet-top basin-fill. The last event corresponds to the formation of a dilatant vein system likely related to the exhumation of the massif.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00644828
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Submitted on : Friday, November 25, 2011 - 11:21:14 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 11:58:04 AM

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B. Lacroix, M. Buatier, Pierre Labaume, A. Trave, M. Dubois, et al.. Microtectonic and geochemical characterization of thrusting in a foreland basin: Example of the South-Pyrenean orogenic wedge (Spain). Journal of Structural Geology, Elsevier, 2011, 33 (9), pp.1359-1377. ⟨10.1016/j.jsg.2011.06.006⟩. ⟨hal-00644828⟩

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